Lucas’ Cattle Contract Library Act Passes House

Dec 08, 2021
Agriculture
Press

Washington, DC – Tonight, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5609- the Cattle Contract Library Act. Introduced by Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), and Frank Lucas (R-OK), the bipartisan bill would direct the United State Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) to establish a contract library for cattle producers, ensuring more transparency in the cattle market for producers. Congressman Frank Lucas released the following statement praising the passage of the Cattle Contract Library Act:

“Market strains have highlighted the vulnerabilities our cattlemen and women face day in-and-day out. For far too long, cattle producers have operated under volatile market conditions, forced to accept declining prices for live cattle while the cost of beef goes up at the grocery store. In order to guarantee greater competition, price discovery, and transparency, producers must be able to leverage marketing data while negotiating the price of cattle- and the Cattle Contract Library Act does just that,” said Congressman Frank Lucas. “I thank my House colleagues for passing the Cattle Contract Library Act, which will help America’s cattlemen and women better negotiate higher prices for their cattle. As Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers know, data drives marketing decisions and the Cattle Contract Library Act will improve transparency and give more leverage to Oklahoma’s cattle producers. I thank Congressman Johnson and Congressman Cuellar for their leadership on this issue, and I look forward to working with our Senate colleagues to move this legislation forward.”

Currently, USDA maintains a pork contract library, and following significant volatility in the cattle market and the release of the July 2020 Boxed Beef & Fed Cattle Price Spread Investigation Report, the creation of a cattle contract library was recommended by experts and stakeholders.

“Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association members are very appreciative of the House passage of the Cattle Contract Library Act led by Congressman Lucas.  Price transparency is critical for cattle producers to negotiate the sometimes very volatile cattle market and position their cattle as positively as possible.  We look forward to the Senate taking up this important bill and moving forward,” said Michael Kelsey, Executive Vice President, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association.

“Oklahoma Farm Bureau members have battled volatillity in the cattle market for generations, and their challenges have onnly intensified in recent years. The Cattle Contract Library Act will provide much-needed information to our producers and empower them to make data-driven decisions when marketing their cattle. We commend Congressman Lucas and his colleagues for their support of cattle producers both in Oklahoma and across the nation,” said Rodd Moesel, President, Oklahoma Farm Bureau.

Lucas has long been a leader on cattle market reform since before his time as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. Since 2019, Lucas has joined in introducing a number of legislative priorities for producers, including the PRICE Act and the RAMP-UP Act, which supported transparency in the cattle market and helped increase capacity for small and medium-sized meat processors.

The Cattle Contract Library Act of 2021 is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, National, Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, National Farmers Union, Livestock Marketing Association, and the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association.

The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

 

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